Thanks to MJS
Archive for the ‘sex’ Category
- New Sex-Ed Curriculum is Potentially Lifesaving for Gender Non-Conforming Youth:
- Fact-checking 10 claims made by parents against the Ontario sex-ed curriculum
- Thorncliffe Park school 90% empty after parents pull kids over sex-ed curriculum [takes a few moments to load]
- Take the quiz: Ontario’s new sex ed curriculum
Image thanks to JD, top link thanks to DRS; rest from facebook
Social media and internet safety part of update coming in fall, the 1st since 1998
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has told the province’s Ministry of Education to include the subject of consent in its new sexual education curriculum.
Wynne told Education Minister Liz Sandals to include “healthy relationships and the topic of consent” in the curriculum — which will debut this fall in Ontario schools — the ministry said Thursday in a statement.
When Ontario tried to revamp its approach to sex ed five years ago, some parents and religious groups resisted, leading to a reversalby then premier Dalton McGuinty.
- Province asking parents for advice on curriculum
- Sex-ed lessons need urgent overhaul, says coalition
- Sex-ed opponents claim victory in Ontario
This time, the province asked parents of elementary school students for feedback on the new health and physical education curriculum, which includes sex ed.
The rise of social media and a “lack of awareness” about internet safety were among the concerns raised by parents, the ministry said.
Welcomed by legal clinic
The curriculum has not been updated since 1998, long before the rise of social media and smartphones, and the ministry said it wants to teach students about healthy relationships “in this technology-driven world.”
A coalition of parents, teachers and health experts said two years agoOntario’s sex ed lessons needed an urgent overhaul to educate today’s tech-savvy students.
This week’s move is getting a thumbs-up from a national women’s legal clinic that teaches older students about consent.
“It’s extremely important for everyone to understand what their rights and responsibilities are under the law,” said Kim Stanton, legal director of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, which runs workshops for high school and university students. “Students need to know what’s OK and what’s not.
“The term ‘no means no’ gets used a lot, but actually the legal standard in Canada is ‘only yes means yes,'” she added.
Pornography, kids and sex education: what to do?
More kids at ever younger ages are accessing pornography online, according to a range of international studies, but there’s not much consensus about what, if anything, should be done by parents or teachers to address the issue.
Today in Winnipeg, a children’s advocacy group called Beyond Borders will host a symposium entitled “Generation XXX, the pornification of our children.”
“The porn industry is the country’s main sex educator of our boys and girls,” says Cordelia Anderson, one of the experts scheduled to speak at the symposium, referring to the situation in the U.S.
“Young people have never had this ease of access to this type of material at this young of age,” the founding president of the U.S. National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation told CBC Radio. “This alone should encourage us to be talking about it and studying it.”
Cathy Wing, the co-executive director of Ottawa-based MediaSmarts, another conference speaker, says “we really need to talk to kids from an early age, before they become exposed to online porn.”
28% of boys look for porn at least once a week
In May, her group published the results of a survey that found 23 per cent of students in Grades 7 to 11 say they have searched out pornography online. Twenty-eight per cent of the boys said they looked for porn at least once a week.
- Sexting, pornography findings in youth survey a new warning
- MediaSmarts: Sexuality and Romantic Relationships in the Digital Age
As Wing observes, “there seems to be less of a stigma about looking for pornography, because everybody’s doing it, than there is for looking for good information about sexuality.”
Just eight per cent of the students surveyed said they had searched online for information about sexuality.
Of course, when it comes to viewing pornography there may be a discrepancy between what kids say they do and what they actually do.
A Spanish survey, for example, said that 53.5 per cent of Spanish youth aged 14 to 17 viewed online porn, while a poll by Opinium Research in June of 500 U.K. 18-year-olds had almost half saying that viewing pornography was typical by age 13 to 14.
Is porn damaging?
While almost half the U.K. teens said they saw nothing wrong with watching pornography, 70 per cent agreed with the statement that, “pornography can have a damaging impact on young people’s views of sex or relationships.” Just nine per cent disagreed.
“Porn can have both negative and positive impacts,” says Alice Gauntley, a sex education activist and a student in gender and sexuality studies at McGill University in Montreal.
“It can reinforce sexist, racist and transphobic stereotypes and give us unrealistic expectations about sex and our bodies. But it can also be a source of pleasure and a means of exploring our sexualities.”
But for young teens with no sexual experience, processing the porn on their screens may be quite a challenge. Gauntley argues, “it is necessary to equip teens with the tools they need to make sense of the erotic material they might come across.”
Sex educators are concerned that young people are getting the wrong picture about sex from viewing online pornography.
As Wing points out, “you’re not going to get realistic portrayals in the pornography industry. It’s a business; everything is constructed, like all media.”
She advises teachers and parents to, “make sure the kids understand that this is not reflecting reality, that it’s a constructed reality that contains bias and it’s there to make money.”
Fantasy, not reality
Sex therapist Wendy Maltz says that while kids have a sense that they should view pornography as fiction, she doesn’t think they do.
“That takes a lot of high-order thinking to maintain that, especially under the influence of sexual arousal. It can start getting blurry when there’s an excitement associated with it.”
Maltz, author of The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography, says “the image is the reality on the internet.”
She adds that you won’t stop young people’s curiosity about sex, but that it’s important for them to know that curiosity is normal. “It doesn’t mean you’re sick if you found this stuff exciting.”
But it bothers Maltz that, because of the prevalence of pornography, “kids are getting robbed of having their own sexual conditioning come from real-life romantic experiences.”
She would like to see kids start getting a healthy sex education before they start viewing pornography.
Getting educated about porn
The questions is where should young people get that education?
Linda Kasdorf is studying the impact of pornography on children and youth for her social work degree at the University of Regina, and she works at Saskatoon Christian Counselling Services. She says parents have the responsibility not only to protect kids from pornography, but also to educate them about sex.
“Sexual intimacy is totally missed when kids view porn, and there’s no way to prepare them to understand that void.”
Kasdorf argues when it comes to pornography, the education needs to begin with the adults. “Many parents have no idea that their children can even access pornography, they’re that naive.”
She adds that, “parents needs to be taught how to talk about pornography with their kids, how to help dissect experiences when kids are exposed to pornography.”
But she also wants to see pornography become a component of school sex education programs. Those programs should ensure that, “kids actually have trusted adults that they can talk to about things they’re curious about.”
Gauntley would like to see a media literacy component on pornography, “because it encourages teens to be critical thinkers — to be able to recognize the differences between sex in porn and in real life.”
Chris Markham, head of the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association, argues that sex education is a shared responsibility for parents, schools and the community, while acknowledging that, “parents are the first educators of their children.”
Markham says the provincial curriculum should address the internet pornography issue and that this is a pressing need for kids in Ontario, but his organization hasn’t taken a position.
The Ontario curriculum for sex education dates from the 1990s, when internet porn was in its infancy and before most of today’s students were born.
AUDIO, VIDEO and POLL HERE
LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored fishes, called placoderms, about 385 million years ago in Scotland.
In an important discovery in the evolutionary history of sexual reproduction, the scientists found that male fossils of the Microbrachius dicki, which belong to a placoderm group, developed bony L-shaped genital limbs called claspers to transfer sperm to females.
Females, for their part, developed small paired bones to lock the male organs in place for mating.
Placoderms are the earliest vertebrate ancestors of humans.
“Placoderms were once thought to be a dead-end group with no live relatives, but recent studies show that our own evolution is deeply rooted in placoderms and that many of the features we have — such as jaws, teeth and paired limbs — first originated with this group of fishes,” said John Long, a paleontologist at Flinders University in South Australia who led the research.
This new finding, he added, shows that “they gave us the intimate act of sexual intercourse as well”.
Matt Friedman, a paleobiologist from Britain’s Oxford University who was not involved in the research, described its findings as “nothing short of remarkable” and said they suggested much more could be learned from the fossil fishes.
Long, whose study was published in the journal Nature on Sunday, discovered the ancient fishes’ mating abilities when he stumbled across a single fossil bone in the collections of the University of Technology in Tallinn, Estonia, last year.
The research then involved scientists from Australia, Estonia, Britain, Sweden and China, who analyzed fossil specimens from museum collections across the world.
These demonstrate the first use of internal fertilization and copulation as a reproductive strategy known in the fossil record.
Measuring about 8 centimeters (3 inches) in length, Microbrachius lived in ancient lake habitats in Scotland, as well as parts of Estonia and China.
Long explained that “Microbrachius” means little arms, but said scientists have been baffled for centuries by what these bony paired arms were actually there for.
“We’ve solved this great mystery,” he said. “They were there for mating, so that the male could position his claspers into the female genital area.”
In one of the more bizarre findings of the study, Long said the fishes probably copulated from a sideways position with their bony jointed arms locked together — making them look more as if they were square dancing than having sex.
“This enabled the males to maneuver their genital organs into the right position for mating,” he said.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Tobacco users are more likely than others to test positive for oral human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16),according to a report online Tuesday in JAMA.
“We know from other research that most people who have HPV clear that infection after about a year,” said Gypsyamber D’Souza, the report’s senior author from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Some people may be more likely to get the infection or have trouble fighting it off, however. Tobacco users may be among that group, D’Souza said by phone.
D’Souza and her coauthors used data on 6,887 adults age 18 to 59 who had been tested for HPV infection, reported their recent nicotine use and had given blood and urine samples to be tested for nicotine and tobacco markers as part of a national survey conducted from 2009 to 2012.
Almost 30% were current tobacco users, who were more likely than nonusers to be male, younger, less educated and to have a higher number of lifetime oral sexual partners.
Two percent of current tobacco users had the infection, compared to less than one percent of never or former tobacco users.
Based on the blood tests, with every additional three cigarettes smoked per day, the risk for HPV-16 infection increased by 31%.
“We saw a very strong association between higher levels of tobacco use and increased oral HPV prevalence across each of the biomarkers we evaluated and even at low levels of tobacco use, which would represent casual use or secondhand smoke,” D’Souza said.
Using biomarkers took away the uncertainty inherent in self-reported tobacco use, she noted.
Oral HPV-16 infection is not common in the population and testing positive for the infection does not mean those people went on to develop cancer, but a 30% increase in risk represents an important difference, D’Souza said.
Tobacco may suppress the immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off the infection, she and her colleagues write.
“It’s not known why (HPV-16) persists in some people,” D’Souza said. “This suggests that tobacco may have a role in why they might be unlucky enough not to have cleared the infection.”
Dr. Carole Fakhry, who worked with D’Souza on the study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said the infection is rare.
“The associated cancer is also rare, but increasing in the United States and abroad,” she said.
Smokers tend to have more sexual partners and risky sexual practices than nonsmokers, said Xavier Bosch, a public health and cancer epidemiology expert at the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona. He was not part of the new study.
There was still a link between tobacco and HPV infection even when sexual behavior was accounted for, D’Souza said. That suggests that riskier sexual behavior doesn’t fully explain the connection.
I hate sex in the movies. Tried it once. The seat folded up, the drink spilled and that ice, well, it really chilled the mood.
The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male’s head off. (Honey, I’m home. What the……..?!)
Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.